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Phuket lays on Suvarnabhumi bus service for stranded sandbox tourists

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: JOEcard31 on Flickr

The governor of Phuket has announced that a special bus service will transport stranded sandbox tourists from the southern island to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. As a result of the cancellation of domestic flights, sandbox visitors who had plans to visit elsewhere in Thailand after their 14 days on Phuket now find themselves stuck. Governor Narong Wunsiew says a dedicated bus service is being laid on for them, starting today and running until August 16.

According to a Bangkok Post report, the bus service is only for sandbox visitors who want to fly from Suvarnabhumi. Tourists with international flights home from Phuket can still depart from the island’s airport as normal.

The bus service is being provided at a cost of 1,500 baht per passenger and will operate on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, leaving Phuket’s Central Festival shopping centre at 5am and arriving at Suvarnabhumi at 9pm that night. The bus can only be booked through hotels with the Safety and Health Administration Plus accreditation.

Nanthasiri Ronsiri from the Tourism Authority of Thailand says that since the suspension of domestic flights on July 20, sandbox tourists have had their domestic travel plans upended. She says many of the international visitors currently staying on the island planned to visit other parts of the country before departing Thailand from Suvarnabhumi.

While the dedicated bus service is the only option for now, the Bangkok Post reports that Nok Air is also in talks with the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand about operating a 1-way service from Phuket to U-Tapao airport, which serves Pattaya and Rayong in the east of the country.

Meanwhile, Chaturong Kaeokasi from the Land Transport Office in Phuket insists that the drivers operating the bus service from the island to Suvarnabhumi will still be subject to strict entry requirements on their return to Phuket, especially as they will be arriving from a dark red province.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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